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northern earls, rising of the

northern earls, rising of the, 1569. This was one of the most serious risings on behalf of the old religion during the Tudor period. Between November and December 1569, Thomas, earl of Northumberland, and Charles, earl of Westmorland, mustered a rebel army in the northern counties and gained initial success. The rebels carried the catholic banner of the five wounds of Christ, which had been used during the Pilgrimage of Grace, destroyed English bibles and Elizabethan Books of Common Prayer, restored traditional altars, and celebrated mass in Durham cathedral. In addition to the religious settlement, the earls complained of the queen's choice of ‘divers disordered and evil-disposed persons’, whose ‘subtle and crafty dealing’ had ‘disordered the realm and now lastly seek the destruction of the nobility’. The rising was suppressed by troops under Lord Sussex. The political underpinning for the rising was the proposed marriage between the duke of Norfolk and Mary Stuart, a catholic match supported by the earls. The plan was discovered and led to Norfolk's disgrace and execution. Westmorland escaped into exile but Northumberland, who fled to Scotland, was handed back and beheaded.

John Collis

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